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Are bigger hair transplant sessions really better?

3/15/2005 1:23:11 AM

We have all seen the headline grabbing posts and eye popping photos for the huge single session hair transplants of 3,500 to 5,000 grafts. All things equal - who would not want to get faster and more dramatic hair transplant results sooner? Well, if all things were truly equal I would absolutely agree.

But like many things that sound almost too good to be true there is often a catch. While I believe that the creation of smaller and less invasive incisions that enable dense packing (when appropriate) are important advances, I am concerned about the potential dangers of huge hair transplant sessions that are being promoted agressively online.

I believe, as do many very responsible hair transplant physicians, that these huge sessions may in fact not be in a patient's long term best interest for a number of reasons.

Some of the potential medical issues that hair transplant patients need to consider:

1) Are large sessions of 3,500 to 5,000 grafts potentially masking lower growth rates?

2) Are the graft counts really comparing apples to apples or are the new huge follicular unit sessions actually using "sub follicular unit" (less hairs per graft than standard follicular unit grafts) that therefore give a deceptively high graft count? Ultimately, it is the amount of hairs that are relocated and how they are arranged that determines the appearance of density - not the graft count.

3) Are these huge follicular unit hair transplant cases potentially taking too much donor tissue from the donor area in one particular session thus increasing the danger of scarring?

4) Are young hair transplant patients in particular in danger of depleting their limited donor area by dense packing their receding hairlines too aggressively, thus not enabling them to achieve an optimal long term distribution of transplanted hairs?

The fundamental question that many leading physicians are asking about these huge mega mega hair transplant sessions is - are such large cases really in the long term best interest of the patient?

Based on all the information I have been exposed to, I believe that in experienced hands hair transplant surgeons using the newest ultra refined hair transplant procedures can and do achieve good growth rates when dense packing.

However, I question whether sessions ranging from 3,500 to 5,000 grafts will ultimately yield less actual growing hairs in the balding areas than if the patient moved the same number of limited donor hairs in two sessions.


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    All Articles by Patrick Hennessey

    Patrick is the founder of the hair transplant network.com and the hair restoration community. He began his journey as publisher when as an early patient of the follicular unit revolution he got outstanding results and published them on the emerging Internet web in the late 1990’s. To help patients communicate with each other he started the now very popular and respected hair restoration discussion forum. He continues to act as the publisher.